I know, life causes us to take our eyes off God. But we’ve got to remember to return to Him daily.
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”Joshua 3:5
We’re in a great sermon series at Milan Christian Church this month. The first sermon was from 1 Samuel 7:1. Samuel tells the Israelites to return to God with all of their hearts. To get rid of what is not of God. Last week, we looked at Joshua 7. They had just overtaken the city of Jericho, but then 2 things happen. In considering their next move, Joshua fails to consult God on what He wants them to do and Achan disobeys God and takes some of the spoils from Jericho for himself despite God’s instruction not to do so.
Throughout history we have seen man in a pattern of falling down and getting back up. It continues like a vicious cycle that we never seem to learn from.
Today our sermon scriptures come from chapters 3, 4, and 5 of Joshua.
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.”Joshua 3:3
”Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”Joshua 3:5
Joshua reminds them that they must consecrate themselves by recommitting their hearts to God. Anything not of God must be left behind. This is the place we find ourselves every morning. Kind of like Ground Hog Day, the movie. Every day is the same until we figure out what it is that God wants us to do.
Joshua is leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and they must cross over the Jordan River. God reassures Joshua that He is with them just as in the time of Moses.
”Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ’When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”Joshua 3:8
This takes place in the spring of the year when the water level is high and it moves rapidly. It must have taken some faith that it was going to be okay, to step in the rushing water. Joshua reminded them of crossing the Red Sea. God was faithful then, so he would be again. When the priests stepped into the river, dry land appeared before them. The river piled up to provide a path for them to cross.
The priests standing in the river holding the the ark of the covenant showed the people that they were in the presence of God. We have to remember this visible sight of God. He is faithful to help us through where he is leading us.
It’s good to remember that we are called to be leaders. ALL OF US! You are either looking for the presence of God for assurance or you are representing the presence of God and assuring others. Never underestimate the assurance you are giving others as they watch you.
As the priests stepped out of the river, it’s flow returned to normal. This is a ”God thing” and we need to remember those times in our lives. We need to share them with others. I’ve had so many ”God things” happen throughout my lifetime. I share some of them so often that I fear people will tire hearing me speak of them. But they are reminders to me that God has been leading me where he wants me to go, reassuring me that I’m doing what he wants me to do. What kind of ”God things” have happened to you?
Joshua had the people build a stone memorial to serve as physical reminder and an everlasting reminder of the assurance that God is faithful to them when they remember what he has already done for them.
Forgetfulness is one of the biggest obstacles in our relationship with God. Parents, tell your children how God has been faithful in your life. We fail in our trust of God when we forget the great things he has done for us in the past. Sharing those times with your children is teaching them where your faith comes from. It’s come from personal experience.
There are great works in your future. God’s not done with you yet!
“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.”-Rick Warren
Today’s Take Aways
- Go where God is going.
- You can’t cross your ”Jordan” and hold onto things that aren’t of God.
- Leaders (and all of us have a place where we lead) take bold, scary steps.
- Intentionally remember what God has done.
- Israel was now on the other side of the Jordan – in the Promised Land.
- But what is life like in the Promised Land?
- For Israel is was a place of battle.
- But most of all, it was a place of trust.
- They knew they had to trust God with every thing they had, because challenges only got bigger in the Promised Land.
- But so did the blessings!
- What if the Promised Land isn’t a place on the map?
- A place with no conflict, drama, discouragement, defeat, or heartbreak?
- What if the Promised Land is that place where we trust and follow God regardless of what lies ahead of us?
- And how will we be able to do that if we don’t remember?
- Making memorials, whether stone monuments or journal entries, is the best way to keep from forgetting how good God has been to us.
Another great sermon with a solid message to encourage us to remember what God has already done for us and trust that he’ll be faithful in the future.